A thorough home inspection should be on the list of top things to do for both home buyers and sellers. On the face of it, a house may look impeccable with properly painted walls, a roof that looks extremely secure and foundations that are faultless. But, only an inspection can prove if this is really the case.
Home inspections cover a very vast area from interior inspections including wall coverings, floors, windows and heat sources to exterior inspections that include grading, retaining walls and fences. There's more too; HVAC, plumbing and foundations are also part of the package. Some inspection companies also check for mold and pests, the removal of which must be handled by a professional service.
How a home inspection helps
Mitigates problems, affects cost and prevents hurdles in sale: For buyers, a home inspection can show them where problems lie and help them calculate how much it would cost to fix. We've all been victims of sudden unwanted surprises that force us to spend more than we bargained for. It's the same with unforeseen problems in real estate that could lurk just about anywhere. Imagine spending big bucks on a house only to find you'll have to part with several thousand dollars more only a few months later. It's a situation best avoided and an inspection can help.
Cost aside, knowing where problems are means being able to take necessary precautions with usage. For example, knowing there's a faulty section on the floor will prevent you and others from using it till it's repaired. This is particularly important for children and the elderly.
Whether for a buyer or a seller, a home inspection may affect the cost of a house and who should pay for it. A common way to settle this is to have the price reduced so that the buyer isn't put under too much financial pressure. Or, the seller may agree to shoulder the expense of necessary repairs while maintaining the listing price of the house. The common denominator is cost savings and reducing the chance of disagreements later on.
For sellers, a home inspection means eliminating many problems at once. Presenting a potential buyer with a fault-free house, and not being held liable for accidents that may occur due to problems with mold, damaged foundations and poorly constructed roofs is a huge relief especially if a sale is in the near future. You still benefit even if there are no plans to sell just yet. Knowing where problems lie and what repairs must be made are far cheaper than suddenly waking up one day to find the structural integrity of the house compromised.
The ability of home inspections to help people make informed purchase decisions is, perhaps, the single biggest benefit. There's just too much to lose with a bad home buying choice, money being just one. Health may suffer and safety may be an issue which is why it's so important that an inspection is scheduled. Real estate agents will also thank you for making their job a little easier as they can broker a good deal. So whether you're a buyer or a seller, don't go through a real estate transaction without scheduling a home inspection. Find a service both sides agree on and make an appointment. You'll be the better for it and so will the house.